5 Reasons Why Star Wars Is Dead To Me
I used to be a Star Wars fan. Used to being the operative phrase. You could say that Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones was the one that hammered the final nail into that coffin. But really, it had been happening for quite some time. And it isn’t simply a matter that I have been getting older and now Star Wars is meant for a younger audience. There are some very specific points in which took shots at my former love of Star Wars.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
1) The End of Return of the Jedi Special Edition.
Like many Star Wars fans, I went to the theaters when they rereleased the Star Wars Trilogy in theaters with new footage and new scenes. The one that really bugged me was the end of Return of the Jedi. This alteration of the original ending is one that tweaked me more than it would have if I had seen it in my younger years.
The original ending is quite familiar to everyone. Luke Skywalker confronts his father and the emperor, resisting the Dark Side. And just when it seems he is going to pay for his resistance, Darth Vader, his father, finds the glimmer of the light side within him and kills the emperor. Vader dies redeemed. Meanwhile, the rebels manage to disable the defense shield around the new Death Star and destroy it. A crippling blow is dealt against the empire and a major turning point in the war is passed.
All of this still stands in the special edition. But, and this is the part that bugs me, new scenes are added showing various planets throughout the galaxy erupting in celebration as the empire falls. This is all well and good, except for the fact that there is no possible way that the empire could have fallen across the galaxy that fast. You can’t even argue that there are rebel factions on all these planets that have risen up at the same time since it is mentioned that the rebel fleet is going against the Death Star. Even the post Return books, considered canon, shows the empire lingering on, waiting for someone (Grand Admiral Thrawn, the cloned emperor, etc.) to rise up and seize control. The celebrations that were tacked on were unneeded.
At this point, I really do not care if I misspelled it here, the idea is dumb. In the first trilogy, the Force is described as a mystical all-encompassing power that only a select few can tap into. It adds a nice touch of mysticism to the story and shows how Luke and Leia are tied together.
Then came Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. In this movie, the force moves away from the mystical and mysterious and locks itself into pseudo-science. Now, control of the force comes not from a special ability, but from a high midichlorian count. The force moves from something special to a chemical imbalance.
And there’s a test! Normally, I try to reframe from using exclamation points, but I feel it necessary to emphasize this point: THERE IS A TEST! Even on a day in which I don’t want to think logically, I realized that if there is a test for the force, then that test would be applied to every citizen of the empire. This is especially so once the empire has decided that the Jedi are a threat to the empire’s power. If the empire is so intent on wiping out the Jedi, the easiest way to do that is to test every citizen, isolate those that can control the force, then coerce those that will turn to the dark side, and kill those that won’t turn. This would be easy to do since, as we established, the empire is completely evil and would have no qualms about killing children.
3) Jar Jar Binks
I really should not have to go into much detail about Jar Jar Binks. He is a dumb character who could have should some degree of growth, but all that potential was lost on a one-dimensional racist character.
Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it anymore.
4) The Rancor Scene
I have to admit, the Rancor scene in Return of the Jedi was pretty cool when I was a kid. However, repeated viewing showed something to me. If you watch the scene over, you will notice that the rancor footage and Luke’s footage does not match. It is not something you can miss unless you watch very carefully, it is very apparent, the footage does not match. The rancor footage looks like it was projected on a dirty screen behind Luke for him to react to. It really looks bad, and it is just sloppy that it slipped through the first version.
Fast forward to the release of the special edition in theaters. Star Wars has been spiffed up, adding better footage of the X-wings and enlarging Mos Eisley. Empire’s editing was tightened up, making the pace better. So we come to Jedi, where we get added band members for Jabba’s Palace, but the same bad print rancor scene footage. If you had enough time to add in a whole bunch of unneeded snippet scenes showing the overthrow of the empire which could not happen on a galaxy wide scale, why could we not get the rancor scene spiffed up so it did not look like they filmed Mark Hamill in from of a drive-in movie screen.
5) Cool Characters… Wasted
In Empire, we got our first official view of Boba Fett, bounty hunter badass (this is ignoring the Star Wars Christmas Special, which everyone usually does). In Jedi, Boba Fett turns into a bumbling goofball who ends up in the stomach of the Sarlacc not because of some great battle, but because a blind Han Solo turned around too fast. It was a treatment for a badass character that was just horrible, so much so that comic writers creating the post Jedi expanded universe rejected Fett”s end, bringing him back to his glorious badassery.
Fast forward to Episode One. Darth Maul has become the face of the Phantom Menace, the Sith menace that was just too cool to describe. Hell, he even ignored the typical Jedi lightsaber weapon, choosing to use a double blade badass one. Sadly, we really only see one epic battle with Maul, which he is cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, padawan.
Then again in Episode 2, we see the introduction of Jango Fett. we know he’s a badass because he is Boba Fett grown up, or rather, Boba Fett is a young him.. understanding clones gives me a headache. How does this Fett meet his end? Pretty much the same lame way of Boba Fett and Darth Maul.
It just seems that Lucas just does not know how to deal with a cool character that is not a main character.